Oops Oops and Oops - Brooks Goosen in Playoff
First Mark Brooks misfired with a long three-putt for bogey, leaving him one stroke behind Retief Goosen and Stewart Cink one hole behind. Then Cink landed in the greenside rough on 18, while Goosen hit a gorgeous approach shot 10 feet behind the hole.
Cink got his chip from the rough on the green, but 15 feet away. Then he collapsed in a three-putt stunner, the last being from two feet. Goosen was the winner if he could just two-putt from short range. He ran the first try three feet past. Then came another shocker ' he missed the comebacker.
The result ' the 101st U.S. Open goes to a fifth day with Goosen and Brooks the combatants. They will play 18 holes Monday, starting at 11 a.m. local time.
Retief Goosen can't explain his 3-putt on the 18th hole
Mark Brooks comments on his unexpected playoff berth
Its the saddest things Ive ever seen watching sports, said Paul Azinger.
I was sick to my stomach to see them both do that, said Rocco Mediate. Its almost not fair since they played better than anyone else. But thats golf.
Cink tried to explain what happened. I was playing not against the hole, but I was also playing against the situation that I needed to at least tie Retief on the hole or beat him, he said.
I thought that was a pretty crucial putt, because Retief had a gimmie two-putt. So after I hit my first putt and it didnt go in, it was really hard to concentrate on the next one, because I didnt think it meant that much.
Stewart Cink on his 3-putt
In fairness to those who suffered nightmares on the 18th, that green is slower than the other 17. The USGA had to allow it to grow longer so that balls would hold up on the putting surface. The result is, there is a little more grain in the grass and it has less speed.
You never see any grain on the greens, but there it is, said Brooks, who won the PGA Championship in a playoff in 1996. That pin was cut closer to the front than it was all week. It must have flattened out more than everyone was reading.
Goosen was baffled at his misses. Putting up the hill there, I just hit it too hard, he said. I hit right through the break.
'Then seeing what happened to Stewarts third putt breaking so much right, I saw my putt coming back just off center right ' and it went right on me.
Brooks three-putted from long range, a much more legitimate distance for a first miss, though the second putt of eight feet was a bit more disturbing.
I really misjudged the first one, said Brooks. I hit it on a perfect line and if Id had the right speed ' but thats the way it goes. My putt was probably 50-50. I probably overplayed the break, but its a little slower than the rest of the greens.
He was watching a locker room television when the twin fiascos occurred. A disbelieving Brooks came out in the sunshine to discover he still had life.
It was shocking ' it was shocking enough to see Stewart do his thing, and so I feel bad for both of them, he said.
And you hate to say it, but its like once a guy does it, all of a sudden its the power of suggestion, then thats miserable.
Brooks has had a tough time since winning the PGA. He changed club manufacturers immediately thereafter and went through some lean seasons. This year, hes tied for seventh at the Worldcom, but that is his only top ten.
Goosen has been a bit more successful in Europe. Since the Masters he has missed two cuts in five tries, but in the other three hes tied for seventh twice and in his last outing, at the Compass Group English Open, he tied for fifth.
The other Open contenders had a rough day Sunday. Mediate shot a 2-over 72. Sergio Garcia ballooned to a 77. Phil Mickelson self-destructed on the final 10 holes, shooting 5-over-par and a 75. Cink shot 72 and Azinger had a 1-over 71. Suddenly Tiger Woods didnt look nearly so bad for his 3-over 283 total, good for a tie for 12th.
I dont know exactly what I learned today, said a perplexed Mickelson. I think it was a difficult day for me, in that I didnt play the way I would have liked. I didnt have the same feeling that I did the first three rounds, where I really felt I could get to this golf course, make some birdies.
Brooks, though, is a surprise playoff participant. The pity is that someone couldnt three-putt and still get the victory. The 18th is still getting them, 24 years after Hubert Green bogeyed to win the U.S. Open in 1977.
They say its a lot harder to two-putt to win than it is to make a 15-footer for the win, said Brooks. I dont know, they say there is some kind of ghost around here. Nobody has ever parred 18 on Sunday to win a major.
Full-field scores from the 101st U.S. Open
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.